Sunday, 25 November 2007

Looking 4 the Prayer

Attended the Liturgy performed by PS, in a central, overcrowded church – well, a smaller cathedral, compared to the Metropolitan Cathedral. Before entering the building, I see a note on the church etiquette. One of the points there says that each parishioner (church-goer) is encouraged to pick at least one word of advice from the services & sermons, to apply it to their life and then to spread it. What have I picked up from today’s service and sermons? If I pretend for a while not to be thinking too much of how closely some priests resemble politicians when they give well crafted sermons, I suppose I could say that I was somehow moved by PS’s few words when we briefly met, right after the Liturgy. I was approaching him to get some blessed bread, he saw me and said that I should make a wish (and perhaps he should make a wish as well, he added), as today is a glorious feast. I look it up and here is what I find out: November, 25th: Apodosis of the Presentation of the Theotokos into the Temple.

I can’t help remembering Stalker’s main point: modern people do not know anymore what to ask for. The
purely child-like simplicity of the strange aristocracy, spiritualism and wisdom of Orthodox icons (which can bring together profundity and simplicity) has been lost nowadays. And, which is more devastating, we’ve lost the habit of praying – however sad this may sound to some ears. We simply don’t know how to pray – the skies are far too high. I really wonder whether there is a single member of the clergy who can sympathize with this. And a happy ending to this crisis is not easy to find. It isn’t that easy to put up with “the silence of God”, as Swedish director called it. Yet, Metropolitan Anthony Bloom [of Sourozh] said: “We must be prepared for a period when God is not there for us and we must be aware of not trying to substitute a false God. The day when God is absent, when he’s silent – that is the beginning of prayer. Not when we have a lot to say, but when we say to God: I can’t live without you, why are you so cruel, so silent?”

Should it be that all boils down to the nature of our problems, to how deeply we care for our own lives and farewells to life? Perhaps we could somehow mend things past by constantly thinking of our own ends, rather than seeking fun and pleasure…

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